More commonly known as Frangipani, Indian Jasmine or Temple Tree, this amazing plant is by far my personal favourite. Before coming to Cyprus I had never seen one. So when we walked around the Limassol Castle area one afternoon shortly after moving here, and discovered a huge blossoming tree in the garden of an old house, I was deeply impressed. With the beauty of the flower’s yellow/white colouring, the incredible perfection of each petal, the overall symmetry and of course the fragrance.
As we stood there in admiration the house’s door opened and a lovely sweet Yiayia stepped out, starting to talk about her tree, visibly very proud of its size. When I kept saying how ‘poli oraio, poli oraio’ it was, the old lady went back into the house, returned with a pair of garden clippers and cut off a sizeable branch. She handed it to me, advising that I simply plant it in a pot of soil and that I could now admire it at home, too. How nice was that!?
And true enough, it grew and grew, and summer after summer since then, we have had the pleasure of the Indian Jasmine in our front garden. Up until two years ago, when we received the gift of a red flower version branch from a friend. We planted it next to the white one and enjoyed the beauty of the red flower variety. But just the red one, because to my disappointment the white one stopped blossoming – the tree still grew its green leaves each season, but no flowers.
This year, I am delighted to say that I a happy camper again! Hooray, the white flowers are back and they opened up over the weekend:
I know that Cyprus is filled with these trees, they are in the streets, gardens and public spaces and they are nothing special anymore.
Yet to me it is nature’s daily way of reminding me to stop and smell the roses (or the Jasmine in this case) as I rush out the door, into my mornings.